Saturday, 7 November 2015: 3:55 PM
The purpose of this presentation is to describe how Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) Region 14 members and nurse leaders developed and operated two Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Master’s Degree programs in Haiti. The significance of this program is great as there is a huge need in Haiti for quality prenatal care, newborn care and graduate nursing education. 70% of Haitians live on less than $2 a day. Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world and has one of the highest infant and maternal mortality rates. It, also, has a dire shortage of nurses and physicians, and an outdated and poorly staffed nursing education system. The project, Promoting Health in Haiti (PHH), a non-profit organization was founded by STTI Region 14 members and nurse leaders to help with the problem. The project involved partnering with the Episcopal University of Haiti (UNEPH); the Faculté des Sciences Infirmières de Léogâne (FSIL) in Leogane; and with Hunter College in New York. PHH is offering the first Master’s FNP program in Haiti. PHH is now moving ahead with a second FNP program to be offered in partnership with the University of Haiti. It is hoped that since FNPs have been known to provide quality primary care in the USA that by increasing the number of FNPs in Haiti, there will be increased access to quality primary care, prenatal care, and newborn care in Haiti with the result that high infant and maternal mortality rate in Haiti will be reduced. Developing clinical competencies of the students is being systematically assessed for ongoing program improvement. Currently, 18 students are enrolled and each has completed the first year of the program. The tuition is $100 a month for a 36 month program. Several students receive scholarship assistance or work/study aid from PHH. The outcomes and lessons learned so far are that even a small amount of tuition is a burden for most of the students who are supporting families. Many students are not accustomed to deadlines and expectations of a rigorous graduate program. A more formal program evaluation using focus groups is planned for May of 2015 at the first FNP program. The implications of the work of PHH with the support of Region 14 members and the close work with the Minister of Health and nursing leaders in Haiti will be studied to formalize the role of FNPs in Haiti and to create sustainable FNP programs in leading private and public universities in Haiti. Discussion and planning are also underway to assist other schools to open similar programs in other very low resource countries.